On the day the world didn’t stop turning

Sometimes, when you’re small and still busy growing up, people tell you not to do certain things because otherwise Bad Things will happen.

Sometimes, many years later, you do those things anyway, and realise that the world doesn’t actually spontaneously combust, or stop turning or fall on your head.

It’s quite a let down in a way. But it’s a welcome let down. I didn’t want to be responsible for the end of the world ๐Ÿ˜‰

On the magic of new books

Nothing like a brand new book or two to cheer one up, even if they are ‘only’ school books.

This pile of brand new school books arrived today. I received them in exchange for a small fortune.. 

They contain – I hope – the knowledge I need to pass the next lot of exams AND – at least theoretically – figure out how to advise companies to keep improving…. That’s pretty magical.

Now I just have to read them! ๐Ÿ™‚

On learning to fly

My colleague made me an aeroplane for my birthday. He’s been away, so I received it yesterday.

He explained the technical aspects and showed me how it works.

Two days later I still haven’t managed to actually fly it..

..which he finds hilarious ๐Ÿ™‚ Especially because, way back when, he was in exactly my position. He was given a similar aeroplane of his own for his 30th birthday. This is his kind of ‘revenge’. Apparently it took him ‘a week or two’ to learn. I’m hoping for inspiration and talent to strike earlier than that. Maybe on Thursday or Friday would be nice.

๐Ÿ™‚

On discovering under-used words

Reading old scientifical papers is hardgoing, but occasionally it makes up for it by throwing me a delightful new word..

 

 

Any guesses what “quinquennium” means?

 

 

 

 

no?

 

 

I had no idea, but it was too good not to look up…

 

 

 

 

Turns out it’s a period of 5 years (or a 200th of a millenium :))

According to Wiktionary.org you can also say quinquenniad orย quintennium.

The plural is quinquennia or quinquenniums

 

Related terms:

  • (adj.): quinquennial, quintennial
  • (4-year period): quadrennium
  • (6-year period): sexennium

 

Isn’t language awesome?! ๐Ÿ™‚

On going back to school – part 2

So….. that was harder than expected.

4 hours is a long time to sit still and listen (never mind learn), especially after a full day at work*.

After filling in a million forms and going through the details of what happens when and where, and introducing ourselves, and collecting our textbooks, and filling out yet more forms, we were taken on a whirlwind journey through the course content. It was intended as an overview, but the teacher/lecturer got carried away and gave examples and asked questions and made me (/more likely all of us) realise how rusty my knowledge is after not-quite-3 years on standby.

Also, that I am unable to explain the difference between terms** without giving examples.

* and it wasn’t even a strenuous day at work…. I hate to think about summer when it’s hot and the workshop’s full of people wanting things.

** in this case renting and leasing.

On going back to school (again)

In half an hour I go back to school.

You would have thought that 13 years of normal school, followed by 3 years of glassblowing-school, followed by several months of Meister-glassblowing-school would be enough for anyone.

You’d be wrong.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that, but you’d still be wrong.

Although it depends, I suppose, on what constitutes ‘enough’, really. Maybe it would be enough for most people. Probably.

Thing is, I’m not most people, and I don’t like not knowing things I ought to know. Which is why I’m going to add another 680+ hours (spread over 15 months) to the above list.

At some point in the distant future, there is a chance of my taking over a glassblowing company. Legally,ย  anyone with a “Meister” in glassblowing under their belt can own a glassblowing company. Theoretically anyone who feels brave enough can run a glassblowing company. Practically, I feel a lot out of my depth. Especially which it comes to things like planning…

Despite knowing that it’s not going to happen for a while, if ever. Learning-by-doing is fine, but I’d like to learn by learning first, so that I know what to start doing…

In a few minutes I start a course of practical economics and company management (or words to that effect, I think it translates as “business studies”).

I even have a pad of lined paper and brand new biros with me…. ๐Ÿ™‚

On remembering and forgetting

It’s amazing what you can remember about things you haven’t done for months. It’s also amazing how much you forget.

I’ve skied for 2 of the 4 days. Today is the third day.

The first day, getting my boots on without help was the first hurdle, carrying my skis was good, standing up without falling over was better and I was so happy at still being able to turn corners and getting down the mountain in one piece that nothing else mattered much. I didn’t really notice how much my feet or my head hurt until I was in the car on the way home. I took a headache tablet after dinner and went to bed.

Yesterday, my feet hurt from the day before, my legs ached, my shoulders ached, my head was fuggy and my stomach had found something to complain about. I slithered my way down 2 runs and went to sit with the other ladies (who preferred sitting at the bottom to the mountain to actually skiing).
After lunch we decided to drive across the valley to the other lifts (same company so same ski passes). I was feeling a lot better, and there was better snow. Also there was a wide blue run open which presented a chance to practice technique instead of just getting to the bottom. 5 or 6 runs later I remembered what it felt like to know you’ll get down ok, and to enjoy the process, another couple of runs and I could concentrate on what my feet were doing and not on the slope (if you go down the same slope often enough you know what’s coming), and after that my feet were able to concentrate by themselves and leave me room to think about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to ski, to look at what the people around me were doing instead of hoping we wouldn’t collide, to just have fun with the mountain. I can’t believe I’d forgotten about that.

About 15 minutes before the chair lift closed I met one of the rest of the group on the way back from a red run. We decided to get one more go at it before the lift closed and set off. It’s SO much more relaxing to ski even the steeper slopes when you’re confident in your feet. We met some of the others at the top and came down as a group. When we came to a red-black crossing most of them went down the black slope. I dithered a bit until they said I could do it too and then joined them.

I did it too, I got down without panicking and only falling over a few times :).

And now it’s today.

I’m off out ๐Ÿ™‚

On writing Revision Cards

I have decided to be super organised.

Not as organised as I said I would be in October, but still a good sight better than I sometimes am.

I have exams in the last week of July.

My last ‘block’ (46-50 hours of lessons) is the first week of July.

Usually I would finish the last block, realise I’m 2 weeks away from the exams and panic – locking myself away from the world and living on frozen (and baked) pizza.

This time I have decided to revise all the things I’ve learned in the last 3 blocks, so that I know ‘everything’ ๐Ÿ˜‰ by the end of June. That way I only have to revise the new stuff in the 2 middle July-weeks (thus locking myself away from the world for 2 months instead of 2 weeks ;)).

Having done a lot of exams to get this far, I know I revise best when I get to talk lots ;).

I’m not such a fan of talking to myself so I need people to help me.

I need people to find their way into a subject they most likely have less than no idea about.

I need people to ask me relevant questions and be patient with me while I squirm about on my seat working out what they want to know.

I need people who are willing to try and work out what I mean when I finally have an answer, and to decide if it fits the question.

Because most of my questioning-victims aren’t so well versed in Glass-Theory, and because my school-notes are a huge mess of brightly coloured scribbles and arrows, I’m going through them and writing the most important things onto A7 cards. I’m even making it easier for them by writing a question on one side and the condensed answer on the back.

Now they just have to be able to convert my squiggles into writing and add the correct grammar.. ๐Ÿ˜›

That’s the plan anyway.

The practice looks a little different.

I can’t concentrate enough to actually write the stoopid things..

Even knowing I have to finish writing by Tuesday doesn’t help me much.

It’s Sunday. That gives me the rest of today and 2 more days.

2 more evenings really, because I work until 5pm.

I have such a short deadline because I don’t actually want to lock myself away for 2 months. I want to continue to do all the things I love doing and be able to read the cards in the gaps. There aren’t many gaps as it is, but I want to be able to use the ones life throws at me, even if they’re short ones. It’s amazing how many A7 cards you can read in 5 minutes.

It’s also amazing how few you can WRITE in the same timeframe.

It’s practically the end of May already. Here are [some of] the things I want to get done round my revision:

A work colleague (a nice one) and I are going to visit a super-glassblower for a couple of days and be shown how to do clever things with glass. I want to bring him and his family a cake to thank him for his time and for organising the whole thing.

I’m going to spend 8-9 days on a boat with another glassblower. I will hopefully not only learn to drive a motorboat, get through [canal]locks, and sleep while bobbing about on the water, but also find time to learn the stuff I’ve written on the cards. I do have the added bonus of a questioner-with-background-knowledge though :).

2 lovely ladies from school are coming to see me and my town. I really want to have loads of time for them and show them all my favourite places and introduce them to my favourite people so I don’t want to be revising then.

My mum, my gran, my [parents’] house and my [parents’] garden are celebrating assorted birthdays and anniversaries so I’m going home to celebrate them. None of them speak German so the cards would be useless even if I found willing victims.

And then it’s the beginning of July and I’m back in school.

I’d better get back to the books/cards I guess…

OH YEAH!!

On going away

I’m going to be away for a week.

I’m going back to school to become incredibly clever (I hope), and to catch up on sleep, and to get out of the workshop :).

If anyone had told me 10 years ago, that I would one day rate going to school equal to something like freedom, I would have thought them crazy and wondered if I should worry about them… These days I can hardly wait to get back behind a desk ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway. I won’t be writing for a week.

Have fun dear people ๐Ÿ™‚